Equilibrium through Yoga
The Human body is a biochemical organism, and all biochemical processes tend to achieve equilibrium, a steady state of balance that is ideal for the optimum functioning of the organism. However, several environmental factors, external or internal, cause the disruption of this balance. Neglect, or over correction of this balance results in the organism being in a constant state of flux, causing debilitating effects to the overall health. This is what is commonly known as “stress”. As we all know, living under constant stress has nothing but negative results. Medically speaking, the human body under constant “stress” will develop side effects that adversely affects several functions, biochemically, hormonally, neuro- chemically, or even the immune system. It even affects the psychological well-being of a person.
It is therefore imperative that the state of “Equilibrium” be maintained as much as possible, for as long as possible. The most effective way to achieve this ‘balance’ was found in the ancient practice of “Yoga”. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice or discipline. There are a broad variety of schools, practices and goals that help achieve a state of balanced control over the body and mind through physical exercises.
Benefits of Yoga exercises
In a typical yoga session, practitioners will be led through controlled breathing exercises, poses and meditation. The combination of abdominal breathing and meditation is incredibly powerful, since it allows the mind to escape from damaging negative thought patterns by remaining in the “now”.
According to Dr. Nevins of American Osteopathic Association, “The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.”
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality
- The maintenance of a balanced metabolism
- Weight reduction
- Cardio and circulatory health
- Improved athletic performance
- Protection from injury
Achieving the right balance
Everyone’s physique is different, and yoga poses should be adapted based on individual capabilities. Selecting a coach who is qualified and focused to the individual’s needs is a crucial start to a safe and effective yoga practice. Regardless of which type of yoga one practices, there is no need to do every pose. If a pose is uncomfortable or cannot be held as long as the coach requests, then there is no need to do it. Good coaches will recognize and boost you to discover — but not surpass — your personal limits.
“The utility of this science (Yoga) is to bring out the perfect man, and not let him wait and wait for ages, just a plaything in the hands of the physical world, like a log of drift-wood carried from wave to wave and tossing about in the ocean.”
Swami Vivekananda on the utility of Yoga
From Complete Works, Volume II, The Powers of the Mind
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